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…but Clerk, Standing Orders contradict assertion    By Jarryl BryanOpposition Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira, is contending that because of the shortcomings of the Speaker ofClerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacsthe National Assembly, Dr. Barton Scotland,China NFL Hoodies, parliamentary processes were trampled upon during the passage of the Tax Amendment Act last Friday.During a press conference at Freedom House, Teixeira said that the Speaker declared the Bill to be passed when the House had equal numbers on both sides. She was adamant that without the majority of the elected members,White NFL Jerseys Cheap, physically present and voting,Jerseys Wholesale, the Bill could never have passed.“The Bill was moved by (Finance Minister Winston) Jordan, followed by submissions by Irfaan Ali and Anil Nandlall,” Teixeira related. “The speaker (then) did an unusual thing. Upon the closing of debates on the Bill, he then put the Bill in its entirety to the vote.”“At the time when he put the bill in its entirety,” the Chief Whip continued. “Minister (Rupert) Roopnaraine (was) not in (his) seat in the chambers. Therefore the government had 31 persons who voted in favour of the (bill) and the opposition had 32.”“Nothing can be passed in the House without the majority of the elected members and all those physically present and voting,” she vehemently declared. “I don’t know where Dr. Roopnaraine was and it is not my problem.”However, Clerk of the National Assembly Sherlock Isaacs has shot down Teixeira’s contention that the Speaker erred in his duties. In addition, the parliamentary standing orders are completely at odds to what Teixeira had asserted.Speaking to Kaieteur news yesterday, Isaacs stated that the Speaker in fact carried out his functions.“The vote was a collection of voices,” Isaacs said. “He did say those in favour say ‘Aye’ and they said ‘Aye”.PPP Chief Whip,Gail TeixeiraAnd he said those in favor say ‘Nay”. And they said ‘Nay’. He has to determine which was louder. The AYE was louder, so he moved on.”Isaacs noted that whether members were absent from the house or not, the vote could have proceeded once a quorum of 22 members was present. He made it clear that it is not the Speaker’s responsibility to check whether all members were seated, after a quorum had been established.Standing order 6 (1-4) states “The quorum of the Assembly and of a Committee of the Whole Assembly shall consist of one-third of all the elected Members (excluding the Member in the Chair).”“If any Member draws the attention of the Speaker in the Assembly or of the Chairperson inCommittee of the Whole Assembly to the fact that a quorum is not present, the Speaker orChairperson, as the case may be, shall direct that Members be summoned as if for a division.”“When the order to summon Members has been given in the Assembly,Basket Adidas Femme Pas Cher Chine, the Speaker shall, afterthe expiration of five minutes, count the Assembly. If a quorum is not then present, he or sheshall adjourn the Assembly without question put.”“When the order to summon Members has been given in Committee of the Whole Assembly,the Chairperson shall, after the expiration of five minutes, count the Committee. If he or sheascertains that a quorum is not present,Nike Air Max Billig, the Assembly should resume and the Speaker shall count the Assembly.“If a quorum is then present,Maglietta Roma Bambino, the Assembly shall resolve itself into Committee; but if a quorum is not present, the Speaker shall adjourn the Assembly without question put.”Isaacs also made it clear that if in fact the Opposition did see something wrong with the vote, they could have rescinded it, as prescribed under Standing Order 25 (3). However, he noted that when Teixeira did raise the matter, it had long passed.Standing Order 25 (3) states, “When a question for debate has been proposed, debated and decided, it shall not be competent for any Member to raise a question substantially identical thereto in the same Session, except upon a substantive motion for rescission.”Isaacs emphasized that the opposition could have claimed a division, in which case they would have been called individually or for the motion to rescind, thus annulling what had happened earlier, but they did not. So the Speaker went on with the business of the day.
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